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Bunter sandstone

Geology from a Train

Tuesday, 4th December 2001, Wakefield to London, Kings Cross

Wakefield to London geologylimestone scarpsTHE LINE from Wakefield to London crosses three scarps of limestone, each one progressively younger as we approach the capital. These limestones were laid down in clear tropical seas when 'Britain' was nearer the equator than it is today.

Magnesian Limestone, which outcrops just to the east of Doncaster, was laid down in a dying sea, the Zechstein, during the Permian period.

Limestones and ironstones of the early Jurassic from the imposing ridge at Grantham.

Chalk forms higher ground around Stevenage. It formed in the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs such as Tyrannosaurus rex roamed on land.

Softer Rocks

desert sandstone at DoncasterBetween these limestones are softer rocks including desert sandstones south of Doncaster (left), Oxford Clay south of Peterborough and the London Clay from the early Tertiary, laid down in sub-tropical seas and estuaries after the extinction of the dinosaurs.

The valleys of the Thames and the Trent have been carved out from these softer rocks. South of Peterborough fen country has developed on the level page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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